The Business Matrix: Wednesday 11 September 2013


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Snoozebox hopes for salvation

Struggling portable hotel firm Snoozebox is hoping a move into temporary council housing and hospital beds will change its fortunes after revealing mounting losses in a "challenging" first half. The firm, which uses converted shipping containers to create temporary hotels at Glastonbury and Silverstone, lost £5.1 m in the half-year.

Fines for rejecting PPI complaints

Two unnamed big banks face fines after repeatedly rejecting complaints about the sale of payment protection insurance. The Financial Conduct Authority, described as "absolutely not acceptable" the number of complaints which had been rejected by banks and subsequently upheld by the Financial Ombudsman Service.

Dyson patent case against Samsung

British vacuum-cleaner manufacturer Dyson is taking Samsung Electronics to the High Court, claiming the South Korean company infringed on a patent for its ball-steering system. It claimed that Samsung had copied its "cleaning appliance with a steering mechanism" patent which it said was the result of three years of research.

Vodafone deal for Kabel in doubt

Vodafone's £6.6bn takeover for Kabel Deutschland is looking increasingly uncertain as the German company's top shareholder, US hedge fund Elliott Asset Management, was said to be pushing the British mobile giant to improve its offer. The deal could collapse as only 14 per cent of Kabel shareholders have backed the deal.

Loans to first-time buyers hit £8bn

The value of mortgages to first-time home buyers jumped by nearly a third to £8bn between April and June compared with a year earlier, according to Bank of England figures. The rise, of 31 per cent or £1.9bn, came alongside a £1.1bn year-on-year increase in buy-to-let lending to £5bn.

Hilton Food's profits on the up

Meat-packaging group Hilton Food managed to increase profits for the first half of the year, despite European consumers tightening their grip on their wallets and rising meat prices.

Favourable exchange rates helped pre-tax profits for the period edge up to £12.95m and full-year targets are on track.

Online a winning bet for NetPlay

NetPlay TV, the gaming firm that broadcasts late-night roulette and casino shows on ITV and Channel 5, today credited its investment in online marketing and Google search for a 36 per cent surge in half-year revenues to £14.2m. Pre-tax profits jumped 47 per cent to £2.3m.

Emerging markets benefit Ashmore

Fund manager Ashmore has made a robust case for investing in emerging markets following the recent sell-off triggered by fears over the US's tapering off in quantitative easing and worries about specific economies like India. Ashmore's pre-tax profits rose 11 per cent to £258m.

Compensation pay-outs delay

Banks are taking longer than expected to pay out billions of pounds in compensation over mis-sold interest-rate swaps, the Financial Conduct Authority said. There are 30,000 claims for outstanding policies designed to protect customers.

Boom in London budget market

The London budget hotel market is booming, judging by the latest figures from Premier Inn owner Whitbread. The group has added 1,270 new rooms and sales here have grown by a staggering 17.7 per cent in the first six months.